NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt released his list of 11 instant-impact rookies and Atlanta's first-round pick Keanu Neal made the cut.
Throughout the mock draft process, Neal wasn't a name you heard often attached to the Falcons, but Neal was always at the top of GM Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn's list, the only one that ultimately matters.
Atlanta's brass recognized Neal's talent early on and didn't think twice about making him a Falcon. Neal plays the game with the exact style that Quinn wants, and at a position that he covets in his defense.
Brandt released the following strong statement on Neal:
"Think Kam Chancellor, only faster. Neal is very tough and very strong, and he's a perfect fit for the Atlanta defense. I think he'll be one of those guys who makes some defensive calls back there and makes the Falcons' back seven a lot better than it was last year. Opposing receivers will think twice about coming across the middle. Atlanta coach Dan Quinn recruited Neal to Florida when Quinn was on staff there. Neal should also be a very good special teams contributor."